Purpose of review
Extensive research exists that collaborative primary care-mental health models can improve care and outcomes for patients. These programs are currently being implemented throughout the United States and beyond. The purpose of this study is to review the literature and to generate an overview of strategies currently used to implement such models in daily practice.
Six overlapping strategies to implement collaborative primary care-mental health models were described in 18 selected studies. We identified interactive educational strategies, quality improvement change processes, technological support tools, stakeholder engagement in the design and execution of implementation plans, organizational changes in terms of expanding the task of nurses and financial strategies such as additional collaboration fees and pay for performance incentives.
Considering the overwhelming evidence about the effectiveness of primary care-mental health models, there is a lack of good studies focusing on their implementation strategies. In practice, these strategies are multifaceted and locally defined, as a result of intensive and required stakeholder engagement. Although many barriers still exist, the implementation of collaborative models could have a chance to succeed in the United States, where new service delivery and payment models, such as the Patient-Centered Medical Home, the Health Home and the Accountable Care Organization, are being promoted.